The Church is uniquely placed to offer its help to meet this need. As a large social network with involvement of large numbers of families, the Church is fertile soil for recruitment. Once carers have been through the full process of assessment, the Church could also provide an excellent community of support to wrap around families who are adopting or fostering children.
After a year of extensive consultation, with foster carers, adoptive parents, church leaders, social work professionals and fostering and adoption agencies, Care for the Family, CCPAS (The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service) and the Evangelical Alliance have launched the Home for Good initiative.
Home for Good aims to change the culture in local churches throughout the UK, to make adopting and fostering a significant part of their life and ministry. It is a fantastic opportunity for the Church to be good news in society, change our communities and transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in the UK.
Could you use your home for good by providing a foster placement for a child? Or could you provide a child with a home for good by adopting them into your family?
There are three components of Home for Good:
(1) A national church-facing campaign
The Evangelical Alliance will lead this campaign, targeting the heads of denominations, networks and festivals, as well as identifying and resourcing fostering and adoption champions in our churches. We plan to produce creative campaigns around National Adoption Week and Fostering Fortnight, and after a successful pilot of an Adoption Sunday in November 2012 we plan to roll out this idea nationally in 2013.
(2) Support Services
In June 2012 we held consultation events in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, London and Manchester, learning from the expertise of social workers and Christian foster carers and adopters. There was an overwhelming request for more support. Care for the Family are currently assessing what support is already available, and will then develop a model of support that meets these needs, while complementing the support services that already exist.
(3) Increasing understanding
CCPAS has a professional reputation among both faith groups and the statutory agencies for setting standards in safeguarding and for putting the welfare and safety of children first. They will produce resources for churches and statutory agencies about how they can work together and develop models of good working practices. This will help faith groups have a better understanding of the issues surrounding fostering and adoption and enable social workers and those within the statutory agencies to develop a solid understanding of faith issues.